Research

My research interests are in the histories of twentieth-century British politics, gender (especially masculinity) in modern Europe and the United States, the cultural impact of modern war, and British cinema between the 1930s and 1960s. I have published on (among other things) ideology and the 1945-51 Labour government, the 'emotional economy' of 1950s politics, domesticity and male fantasy in 1940s feature film, the synthesis of repressed political and sexual desires in World War Two British photography, imperial motifs in 1950s British war films, and the rewards of applying post-structuralist conceptions of hauntology to historiographcal conventions surrounding the First World War.  My book The Flyer: British Culture and the Royal Air Force, 1939-1945 (Oxford University Press, 2009) was runner-up for the 2009 Longman-History Today Book of the Year prize.  My current major research project is a cultural history of the British war effort in North Africa between 1940 and 1943, set within the rubrics of empire and globalization, details of which can be found at: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/ccps/research/desertwar.  Other current research interests include the histories of fashion and of romantic love. 

Publications:

Books:

Ideas and Policies under Labour, 1945-1951: Building a New Britain (Manchester University Press, 1997).

Co-editor of, and contributor to, M. Francis and I. Zweiniger-Bargielowska (eds.), The Conservatives and British Society, 1880-1990 (University of Wales Press, 1996).  My contribution to this volume was a co-authored introduction and the chapter ‘”Set The People Free”: Conservatives and the State, 1920-1960’.

 The Flyer: British Culture and the Royal Air Force, 1939-1945 (Oxford University Press, 2008, paperback edition, 2011)

(Runner-Up for Longman Pearson – History Today Book of the Year Prize 2009)

Articles and Contributions to Edited Volumes:

 ‘Old Realisms: The Labour Party Policy Review in Historical Perspective’, Labour History Review vol.56 part 1 (May 1991).

 ‘Economics and Ethics: the Nature of Labour’s Socialism, 1945-51’, Twentieth Century British History vol.6 no.2 (September 1995).

 ‘A Socialist Policy for Education? : Labour and the Secondary School, 1945-1951’, History of Education vol.24 no.3 (December 1995).

 ‘“Not Reformed Capitalism, but ... Democratic Socialism”: The Ideology of the Labour Leadership, 1945-51’, in H. Jones and M. Kandiah (eds.), The Myth of Consensus (Macmillan, 1996).

 ‘”Mr. Gaitskell’s Ganymede”?: Reassessing Crosland’s Future of Socialism (1956)’, Contemporary  British History vol.11 no.2 (Summer 1997).

 ‘The Labour Party: Modernisation and the Politics of Restraint’, in F. Mort, B. Conekin and C. Waters (eds.), Moments of Modernity: Reconstructing Britain, 1945-64 (New York University Press, 1999).

 ‘Labour and Gender’, in D. Tanner et al. (eds.), Labour’s First Century: A Centenary History of the Labour Party (Cambridge University Press, 2000).

 ‘Leisure and Popular Culture’, in I. Zweiniger-Bargielowska (ed.), Women in Twentieth Century Britain: Economic, Social and Cultural Change (Longman, 2001).

 ‘Tears, Tantrums and Bared Teeth: The Emotional Economy of Three Conservative Prime Ministers, 1951-1964’, Journal of British Studies vol.41 no.3 (July 2002).

 ‘The Domestication of the Male?  Recent Research on Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century British Masculinity’, Historical Journal vol.45 no.3 (2002).

 ‘Cecil Beaton’s Romantic Toryism and the Symbolic Economy of Wartime Britain’, Journal of British Studies vol.45 no.1 (January 2006).

(abridged version published as ‘Cecil Beaton’s Wartime Art’ in Wm. Roger Louis (ed.), PenultimatAdventures with Britannia(I.B. Tauris, 2008)

 ‘A Flight from Commitment?  Domesticity, Adventure and the Masculine Imaginary in Postwar Britain’, Gender and Historyvol.19 no.1 (April 2007).

 ‘Men of the Royal Air Force, the Cultural Memory of World War Two and the Twilight of the British Empire’, in  Sue Grayzel and Philippa Levine (eds.), Gender, Labour, War and Empire: Essays on Modern Britain in honour of Sonya Rose (Palgrave, 2009).

 ‘Remembering War, Forgetting Empire: Cinematic Representations of the North African Campaign in the Era of Decolonization’, to appear in Lucy Noakes and Juliette Pattinson (eds.), The Cultural Memory of the Second World War in Britain (London: Bloomsbury, 2014).

'Attending to Ghosts: Some Reflections on the Disavowals of British Great War Historiography', Twentieth Century British History vol.25 no,3 (September 2014). 

‘Fierce Pride and Petty Jealousies: Private Lives and Public Diplomacy in Second World War Cairo’, in Claire Langhamer, Lucy Noakes and Claudia Siebrecht (eds.), War: An Emotional History (Oxford, fortcoming).

I have also edited numerous book reviews in The English Historical ReviewThe Journal of Modern HistoryThe Times Literary SupplementTwentieth-Century British HistoryThe Welsh History ReviewInternational Labor and Working-Class HistoryJournal of American StudiesParliamentary HistoryJournal of the History of SexualityThe Times Higher and The International History Review.